The Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers, is a story about a lonely and isolated town that is once the location of a thriving cafe Nothing was happening in the town until the dreary town became a witness to the love triangle among the three main characters of the story. Marvin Macy the ‘handsome’ man who married Miss Amelia Evans who was a wealthy and lonely woman. The two lived together only for ten days before they separated because she refuses to consummate the marriage. When the character Lymon arrived, he and Macy lived together until the former was charmed by Macy.
The story takes place in an old abandoned city in a small and lifeless town. However, this town was not always so empty and dreary. Ms Amelia Evans suddenly had an idea of opening a cafe. For a while the town was alive. The people were also happy. For a while also Miss Amelia Evans was in love with the arrival of Cousin Lymon. However, when tragedy struck she was forced to close down her cafe, the entire town became boring and lifeless yet again. The only lively atmosphere in the town was now boarded up.
Miss Amelia Evans, the owner, now spends her time barricaded in the cafe, staring down at the empty city every once in a while with her scary looking eyes. Throughout the novel there is an evident recurring theme. A theme which is always present in the story is a feeling of unrequited love, illustrated through looking at the parallels of the relationships between three separate individuals. Miss Amelia Evans, Cousin Lymon, and Marvin Macy, are the players involved in this love triangle. The love of a parent, the love of a sweetheart and the love of a sibling or friend.
Each of these forms of ‘love’ are shown very strongly in this novel, and much can be learnt from the way each of the character show their feeling of love. The first key incident in the novel is where Miss Amelia first meets Lymon. Lymon was a strange looking man, and in other words as the book said “the man was a hunchback. He was scarcely more than four feet tall”. He was not a handsome man. “His crooked little legs seemed too thin to carry the weight of his warped chest and the hump that sat on his shoulders” but he was an intelligent individual who effectively managed to fool Miss Amelia into thinking he was her actual cousin.
“The hunchback scrambled among these belongings and brought out an old photograph”. Through this old photograph Lymon is able to prove he is indeed her cousin although it is hard to tell apart the faces of the two women in the picture. Cousin Lymon comes to find Miss Amelia because he is very selfish and poor at the same time. McCullers tells the readers when Cousin Lymon enters the town “the bag was full of all manner of junk – ragged clothes and odd rubbish” Cousin Lymon did not own anything valuable.
He was poor and he decided to fool Miss Amelia as she was the richest lady in town, so he can have a place to stay and use her for his needs such as food, money, clothes and perhaps also planned to make Miss Amelia fall in love with him so he can take advantage of her wealth even more. Miss Amelia accepts Lymon quickly into her home leaving the people in the town confused as this was an unusual thing she would do. Miss Amelia ends up falling in love with Lymon and and therefore gives everything and even offers him her father’s room which is strange. Miss Amelia is clearly very much in love with Cousin Lymon.
She even lets him have a mechanical piano that he persuaded her into buying. This shows the theme of unrequited love and also conveys the idea to readers that shows how people can love, without getting any love in return. Cousin Lymon has an interesting role in this novel. The child-like hunchback brings out a side in Miss Amelia no one in the town had ever seen before. She was capable of love. She suddenly has someone by her side, where there once was no one. Her caring and motherly side suddenly is out in the open as she nurses and cares for her guest. With the arrival of Cousin Lymon, Miss Amelia becomes the lover, and he, the beloved.
“It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep, secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reason”. Though their relationship is not physical or sexual, Miss Amelia has an undying need to take care of Lymon showing to a greater extent the unrequited love going on here. Miss Amelia seems to be loving Cousin Lymon thinking he loves her back but he loves her for all the wrong reasons. He only loves the fact she gives him everything he wants.
He doesn’t care about her which is why he ends up betraying her. The appearance of Miss Amelia’s ex-husband, Marvin Macy brings further intense emotions to the leading character. Not only are there hard feelings existent from their ten-day marriage, but suddenly with the arrival, Cousin Lymon no longer needs Miss Amelia. Things have changed, making Lymon the lover and Marvin the beloved. Miss Amelia is understandably jealous and broken by the two men in her life no longer needing her for anything. After four years of being important and needed, she is nothing to them. She resorts to fighting Marvin out of her jealous rage.
As the fight reached the end, Amelia was winning. Until the man she had nursed and loved betrayed her and fought for his beloved, Marvin. After the fight, Marvin and Lymon skip town, leaving her home and cafe in a mess. The hurt and betrayal that stays behind is apparent through the rest of Miss Amelia’s story. “When anyone mentioned the hunchback she would say only this: ‘Ho! If I could lay hand on him I would rip out his gizzard and throw it to the cat! ” Miss Amelia was a changed woman. She was a broken woman. She was broken by love. Her lover, Marvin Macy, had left with her beloved, Cousin Lymon.
She was alone in her own world, in her home, never to love again. In conclusion, The Ballad of Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers is an engaging and interesting novel with slightly strange characters like Cousin Lymon who loves to live life to the fullest. He adores being the centre of attention and is a character that enjoys setting up individuals into fights. In addition, he is smart enough to fool and take advantage of people such as Miss Amelia who had loved him and gave him everything he asked for although he in return does not offer her anything back leaving her heart broken.
Throughout the story, Cousin Lymon has proven himself to be a selfish man who does not care for anyone but himself. By doing this us readers getting a better understanding towards the unrequited love between Cousin Lymon and Miss Amelia and conveys a message of no matter how much you try sometimes it gets you no where. Just like Amelia did, she loved and done everything she could but in the end she ended up broke and upset.
Research on white-collar crime
Research on white-collar crime.
This scholarly activity will include further research on white-collar crime. Visit the site below, and explore the different components of white-collar crime: Federal Bureau of Investigation. (n.d.). What we investigate: White-collar crime. Retrieved from https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/white-collar-crime Then, include the following points in your scholarly activity: different types of crime that are categorized as white-collar, the victims of these crimes, and the reasons why you believe it is difficult to enforce these laws.
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